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Fitness - Distinguish Between 'Being' and 'Doing'

By Jayne Osbourn

To distinguish between the concepts of "being" and "doing," is one of those subtleties that make a world of difference. When it comes to fitness, it makes the difference between people who are lean and healthy and people who want to be.

Being fit is a matter of choice for the most part. Just about anyone you ask will say they would choose to be fit. Well, the next logical step would seem to be taking some kind of action toward fitness, right? Not so, in fact. Most people do think they must first DO something in order to BE fit. That is why people often start working toward fitness only to give up. To DO is always a struggle. Instead, to BE is when our actions are a natural extension of who we are.

Conventional thought is that first I DO something so I can HAVE something, which enables me to BE something. Do-Have-Be goes something like this: Create a schedule and workout at the gym five evenings per week (doing). The result will be a better body (having). Then, feel more healthy and attractive (being). But if the order were reversed to Be-Have-Do, lots of things in life, including fitness, get better.

Think about qualities or characteristics that people who are authentically fit possess. They are consistent, creative, dedicated, knowledgeable, enthusiastic and motivated. Pay attention to these qualities in yourself, in all areas of your life. Start to focus on them. When you get up in the morning, instead of saying, what do I need to DO today; ask how can I BE those qualities. How am I going to BE creative today? How am I going to BE disciplined today? How am I going to BE fun today? There is a very different energetic response people have when their focus is on 'being' those things rather than 'doing' something. Use a journal if it would help you make the connections.

It might be going through your mind as you're reading, "But, I'm actually not very self-motivated." If that is the quality your thoughts, if that's the message you keep telling yourself, then what happens is you believe you have to DO something to get self-motivated. The vision creates the action. When you have a vision of yourself as not being very self-motivated, your actions are going to correspond. However, if you can start to see where you are being self- motivated - even in small ways - that changes your ways. You'll recognize yourself as motivated in other areas as well, because as soon as you can see yourself 'being' self- motivated, the 'doing' follows naturally.

Instead of the internal conversation that focuses on traits you don't want to continue, shift your attention. Select any one of the traits of the authentically fit. Let's use enthusiasm. Look at yourself and see, "How am I good at being enthusiastic?" People usually pay attention to where they fall short, and so what they get is more falling short: where you begin is where you return.

Everyone knows what it takes to be fit. Eat the right things, get plenty of exercise and rest, and they are 'doing' that. But the moment they stop thinking of 'doing' it, or they don't want to DO it, or 'doing' it isn't fun anymore, they're going to stop because it's all focused on, "I have to DO this." They never saw themselves any differently. They saw themselves as being unfit or fat, so they had to DO something to get fit and thin - they never saw themselves as being healthy or being beautiful or anything like that. The people who actually make it and enjoy a life of fitness are the ones who have shifted how they see themselves. See yourself now as 'being' healthy, committed to health, as 'being' beautiful and attractive. Your vision creates your reality.

Jayne Osbourn is a personal fitness trainer and contributing writer for the World Natural Sports Organization, producers of the industry acclaimed FAME World Event Series

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